Safety Laws in North Carolina
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Helmets are required for all riders.
All riders 15 years and younger must wear a helmet.
Headlights required during daytime.
When riding at night, your bicycle must have:
- A front white light visible from at least 300 feet.
- A red rear reflector visible from at least 200 feet.
Headlights must be turned on:
- From one half-hour after sunset until one half-hour before sunrise.
- When visibility, due to angry weather, gets reduced to 400 feet or less.
- Whenever your windshield wipers are in use.
Cell phone restrictions:
- All drivers under 18 are banned from using cell phones while driving. Dialing 911 in the case of an emergency is the lone exception.
- School bus drivers are prohibited from using cell phones.
- All drivers are banned from texting while behind the wheel.
- Kids younger than eight AND weighing less than 80 pounds must ride in a car seat or booster. Depending on which comes first, kids can upgrade to a seat belt once they turn eight or top 80 pounds.
- Car seats must be fastened in a rear seat if your child is under five, weighs less than 40 pounds, and if your car contains passenger-side airbags. You can bypass this requirement if your child's safety seat is airbag-compatible.
- Kids, under 16, must wear a seat belt regardless of where they sit.
- Everyone 16 and older must wear a seat belt while riding in the front seat.
Call *47 (North Carolina's Highway Patrol) if you suspect a driver of being drunk or reckless. Provide the driver's license plate number, make, model, location and travel direction. Do not try to stop the vehicle on your own.
Dial 911 if you suspect an unattended child left in a vehicle is in danger from excessive heat or cold. Remain with the vehicle, if possible, until authorities arrive.
Call the local police department or animal control unit if you feel an unattended pet inside a vehicle is at risk.
Other Topics in This Section
- Traffic Alerts
- 511 Traffic Systems
- Tire Recalls
- Safety Laws
- How Emotions Affect Driving
- Driving in Hazardous Conditions
- Teen Drivers: A Beginner's Guide
- Seniors: When To Turn Over The Car Keys
- Packing Your First-Aid Kit
- Seven Senior Safety Suggestions
- Wildlife on the Road
- When to Call Wildlife Rescue
- Taking A Mature Driver Course
- Medications & Driving
- Night Driving
- Hallucinations on the Road
- How To Drive Distraction Free
- Treating Motion Sickness
- Road Rage: How To Deal With It
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